Speaking as a politician, I can promise you this: political leaders will not take risks if the people do not demand that they do.
I suppose the idea is that I’m supposed to find it heart-warming that Sen. Portman has changed his opinion about same-sex marriage since discovering that his own son is gay, but jeez, it sure sounds like “I’m against equal rights except for my own family” to me.
Sen. Portman said that his son’s coming out to him “allowed me to think about this issue from a new perspective and that’s as a dad who loves his son a lot and wants him to have the same opportunities that his brother and sister have.”
Aw, shucks, isn’t that just too darned nice? The guy is just an ordinary dad who loves his kids. Well, an ordinary dad who loves his kids and who can get onto the front pages of papers across the country to ask the Supreme Court to overturn a law, not because the law is unjust or because hundreds of thousands of Americans are put at an unfair disadvantage by it, but as a personal favor just so that his own son won’t lose out on any of the privileges his other children have.
No mention, of course, of any regret over his opposition to equality when he thought it was only other people’s kids who were disadvantaged by it. He may have changed his opinion, but it doesn’t sound like he’s had much of a change of heart. Somebody said to me today that this is the sort of thing that will cause other people as well to support equality, but I don’t see it. Seems to me more like the sort of thing that reinforces the idea that the American system is still broken, our so-called leaders are still interested only in getting what they can for themsevles, and anything resembling justice is only available to the wealthy and powerful.